If you opt for take-out over home-cooking because there is simply not enough time in your day, then Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals is the ideal cookbook to explore. In her latest collection, author and television host Sara Moulton presents over 200 recipes that can be made quickly, leaving you with extra time to unwind with family and friends and enjoy a homemade culinary treat.
The book is set up in a familiar manner, covering the basics such as pasta and grains, poultry, meat, fish, and vegetables, as well as a few nontraditional dinners. The difference here is that each chapter is packed with recipes that can be prepared with minimal time and effort. In the chapter entitled “Pasta and Grains,” you will find a recipe for ricotta gnocchi that can be made in only fifteen minutes and baked risotto that can be made in twenty. If you are in the mood for chicken, try a fifteen-minute recipe for balsamic or lemon chicken, and if you have twenty minutes, you can prepare Thanksgiving hens. If you only have ten minutes, you can still have a great meal comprised of peach chicken breasts with Italian tuna sauce or mustard-chutney roasted chicken thighs. If you crave red meat, you will find simple directions for Pepper-crusted New York Strip Steak that can be made with twenty minutes hands-on time; if you have five additional minutes, you can make Korean-style Beef.
For some non-traditional ideas, Moulton offers recipes for soups and sandwiches that are hearty enough to constitute a full meal, along with a chapter on “Breakfast for Dinner” that offers comforting meals perfect to mark the end of a long and draining day at work. The chapter on “Entrée Salads” includes a recipe for turkey club salad that can be made with thirty minutes of total preparation time (with twenty-five minutes of hands-on time) and, something as elegant as seared beef in autumn broth with wasabi cream only requires fifteen minutes of hands-on time with a total preparation time of thirty-three minutes. Categorized as “The Substantial Sandwich,” Moulton includes recipes for French-toasted mozzarella and prosciutto sandwiches that can be made in twenty-five minutes with only fifteen minutes of hands-on time, and who would not welcome a home-cooked meal of scampi heroes that can be prepared in just fifteen minutes.
The chapter on “Just Open the Pantry” has a wide range of recipes that can be made with items that you will likely have on hand, particularly if you stock up on meal-time essentials presented at the beginning of this cookbook. With just seven minutes of hands-on time (and a total preparation time of fifteen minutes) you will be able to have ramen noodles and Asian vegetables with peanut sauce on your dinner table. Even the chapter dedicated to cooking ahead includes recipes that can be made in a fairly short period of time (most less than thirty minutes) but can be made in advance and saved for consumption during the week. And desserts as tempting as rocky road bars and nectarine and plum upside-down cake can also be prepared in a short period of time.
Sara Moulton’s fans who admire her simple gourmet recipes can now add efficiency to her list of attributes. With this extensive array of gourmet meals that can be prepared in a matter of minutes, she removes yet another excuse we all having for not preparing homemade meals on a regular basis. Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals will add much enjoyment to your dinnertime with family and friends and would be a wonderful addition to the cookbook collection of anyone from a novice cook to an experienced chef.